Pharma company planning once-weekly diabetes drug

Tue, 03 Apr 2012
The pharma giant Novo Nordisk is reported to be considering developing a once-weekly injection for people who are suffering from type 2 diabetes.

The company is said to be planning to release a once-weekly version of either its drug Victoza, which is currently only available as a daily injection for reducing blood sugar levels, or another treatment in the same class.

They hope to develop a more long-term version of Victoza or semaglutide, which is a compound that can also mimic the hormone GLP-1 so that the pancreas produces insulin. Novo Nordisk hope such a move would help them compete against the drug Bydureon, the once-weekly version of Byetta, which is manufactured by Amylin Pharmaceuticals.

It is expected that the company will make the decision about which drug to proceed with in August. As Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen, the chief science officer of Novo Nordisk, said "Semaglutide is actually looking quite good but what if once-weekly Victoza looks even better. That we still don't know."

They also hope that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States will approve Victoza, which they began selling in 2009, as a treatment for obesity once it has also been trialled for any potential cardiovascular issues. The company believed that GLP-1 medicines could be beneficial to the heart and possibly be cardio-protective, although this has still to be proven.
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